Reaction to market sell-off

Walter Price's bulletin provides insight on the immediate and longer-term outlook for the technology sector in the light of this week's market sell-off. The team continues to carefully balance risks and opportunities, leveraging their industry expertise and emphasising individual stock selection.

The CEO vision

Many technology companies grow up on the energy and vision of a charismatic individual. This month, Walter Price considers the Chief Executive Officer role in the context of technology companies, stressing that a founder may or may not be the best individual to drive a business forward. 

How millennials change the game

This month, Walter explains how technology companies are taking time and effort to understand – and adapt to – the needs of the millennial generation. What is it that makes this generation, so adept with social media and digital technologies, tick?

The IPO market

This month, Walter casts his eye over the buoyant Initial Public Offering (IPO) market. He also looks at the technology that supports cryptocurrencies (Blockchain) as well as innovation at tech companies. 

Results season and other observations

Walter Price shares his observations on the first earnings season since the US corporate tax cuts came into effect. Apple was notable for results that were better than expected. Walter also considers Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, and how the technology industry has long been home to unique personalities.

Technology troubles

Walter revisits the topical issue of personal data, with the introduction of Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looming. In this context, he shines a spotlight on Facebook which has, of course, been in the headlines recently.

Big technology and corporate governance

Walter Price reflects on the topical theme of corporate governance and the responsibility of the largest tech companies. With growing calls for greater regulation, Walter considers how this might impact on the ‘Big Tech’ digital giants.  

The high street bites back

Walter Price considers the future for traditional retailers against the backdrop of e-commerce. He also considers the potential impact of the US Government’s recently passed tax bill as well as reviewing the progress of Apple and Samsung in the vast Chinese market.

Looking back, looking forward

In his first Silicon Valley update of 2018, Walter Price looks forward to what the key technology themes could be this year. Walter also reflects on how 2017 unfolded, including the year’s winners and losers.

Cryptic cryptocurrencies

There can be few technology phenomena that have attracted as many headlines as cryptocurrencies. Although they have been around since 2009, interest has hit fever-pitch in 2017, with around 900 digital currencies now available.

Disrupted disrupters

The past few months have seen some difficult times for some of the globe’s most ‘disruptive’ companies: lawmakers, competitors and regulators have bitten back, and in some cases threatened to derail their nascent business models.

A second technology bubble?

A recent wobble in some high profile technology stocks has prompted concern over valuations in the technology sector. Are we seeing technology bubble 2:0?

Labour displacement

Technology is disruptive. It can render old industries obsolete, and bring new industries into existence. Naturally this has frequent - and sometimes controversial - consequences for the labour market, but historically, where one industry has faded, another has often emerged to to take its place.

The online advertising boycott

Recent weeks have seen considerable controversy around online advertising. Google’s European boss was forced to apologise after adverts from companies and government agencies appeared next to extremist content on YouTube.

Messaging apps

The world of messaging is more exciting than it initially appears: although messaging apps are ostensibly just a means to communicate with friends, they offer advertisers a means to target an otherwise elusive younger demographic.

Many happy returns

Christmas may be long gone, but the results from the 2016 Christmas shopping season are starting to emerge, and with them comes a clear picture on the winners and losers.

The state of e-commerce

It seems pertinent to discuss e-commerce as the holiday season is here. Online retailing has long been a growing trend, but the rate of growth continues to surprise.

The Trump Aftermath

Much like the Brexit result, the polls were wrong in the US Presidential election, and Donald Trump is the next President of the United States. What does this mean for technology stocks in particular and stocks in general?

Ericsson vs. Huawei

The shifting mobile market claimed another scalp last month as Ericsson reported a slump in profits. The Swedish telecoms equipment maker blamed rising competition and said it would continue to cut costs, but its problems are part of a wider phenomenon...

Apple's EU tax bill

Apple’s EU tax bill Apple attracted headlines not solely for the launch of its new iPhone 7 this month, but also for an eye-popping €13bn tax bill from the European Commission. The EC ruled that the ‘sweetheart deal’ struck between the Irish Government and the US tech giant was illegal.

Brexit: a perspective

Inevitably, we need to discuss the UK’s historic decision to separate from the European Union. The technology sector is unlikely to feel as direct an impact as some other sectors...

Technology builds new markets

One of the key differentiating factors of technology – and why it is such an exciting place to invest – is that it has the power to create new markets.

Reasons to invest in technology in 2016

These have been a turbulent few months in markets, and technology has not escaped the rout. In spite of the stabilisation seen in March and April, it has been an unnerving period for investors.

Artificial intelligence, views on China and FANG valuations…

Artificial intelligence plays to some of the greatest fears about technology: A world where we interact with machines, rather than each other; where ‘chatbots’ solve our problems rather than people.

Is the tech sector better-placed to deliver structural growth over the long term?

Investors the world over are worried about growth. Is China slowing? Is the US slowing? And if so, how severely? The technology sector may be better-placed over the long-term to deliver structural growth, but it is not immune from these concerns.

Key themes for 2016

Technology was one of the clear winners in 2015, amid a generally lacklustre year for stock markets. The Nasdaq finished the year nearly 6% ahead of the wider S&P 500 index. However, the strength has been confined to a few key names, the so called ‘FANG’ companies.

The common unicorn

Originally named for their rarity, technology ‘unicorns’ are now as common as pigeons on Wall Street. From Airbnb, Dropbox to Pinterest and Uber, there are an increasing number of companies hitting the $1bn valuation mark in the private market (the qualifying point for a ‘unicorn’).

Markets rattled

These have been tricky times for investors in all sectors, and technology has been no exception.

Chinese stock market in crisis

The domestic Chinese market has been in meltdown since the Government announced short-selling restrictions. This is obviously a concern. We have around 5% of our portfolio in China, albeit in Hong Kong listed shares rather than the ‘A’ Shares market.

What makes a valuable brand?

Forbes has released its annual list of the most valuable brands. It is striking how many technology names feature on the list - six of the top 10 brands are technology groups.

Wobbling bond markets and the ‘bond proxy’ phenomenon

A June rise in interest rates now looks increasingly unlikely, with some commentators believing the Federal Reserve may defer into 2016. Nevertheless, bond markets are wobbling and the issue of interest rate rises continues to influence stock markets. The technology sector is not immune.

Introducing the Apple Watch

Pre-orders for the much-hyped Apple Watch open on the 10th April. Those without the $10,000 for the gold-and-sapphire version may be more tempted by the basic Watch Sport, which starts at $350.

The earnings season – the good and the bad

This has been a volatile earnings season, polarising into the good - which have done extremely well – and the bad, which are now facing serious questions about their sustainability.

Outlook for the technology sector in 2015

Walter Price, Manager of Allianz Technology Trust, provides his outlook for the technology sector in 2015 and reviews the top technology trends of 2014.

The connected car

There is almost nothing that illustrates the pervasiveness of modern technology better than the development of the connected car. A few short years’ ago, cars were a technology-free zone, and yet now technology is promising to transform the driver’s experience and improve road safety.

Semiconductor sell-off: a time to panic?

There has been a notable sell-off among semi-conductor stocks this month, enough to drag the Nasdaq lower and raise fears of a wider slow-down in the technology sector. The catalyst for the share price falls was a profit warning from Microchip Technology, which cited weaker demand in China.

Amazon drones

Amazon’s director of UK Operations said recently that all the group’s deliveries could one day be made by automated drone. While the concept sounds space-age, the technology is already well-progressed.

New brooms

Angela Ahrendts made her first public comments this month since taking over at the helm of Apple’s retail operations. She chose LinkedIn as the medium and in doing so, marked a clear change in personal style from that of previous management.

Technology earnings

When the higher valued technology stocks sold off in March and April, the key to their revival or otherwise was always likely to be earnings. As it was, many of the bellwether technology groups either hit or beat consensus expectations in the April earnings season.

Technology: a bubble?

The fears of a second bubble in technology had been mounting: there were once again hints of exuberance on the part of investors after the NASDAQ hit highs not seen since the giddy days of 2000...

Technology in the news

In last month’s newsletter, we mentioned the burgeoning trend of internet security. Major retailers have been stung by the coordination and sophistication of recent cyber-attacks and have been forced to address the holes in their security systems as a matter of priority.

Technology in the news

Microsoft has long understood the necessity of shifting its business from its weakening core markets to newer and higher growth areas. To date, its execution has been erratic; there have been ill-judged forays into the mobile phone world, for example.

© Allianz Global Investors GmbH 2018, Registered Office: Frankfurt am Main, Register: HRB 9340, Local court: Frankfurt am Main. All Rights Reserved. Allianz Technology Trust PLC is incorporated in England and Wales. (Company registration no. 3117355). Registered Office: 199 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3TY. VAT registration no. 678 1784 81. The Company is a member of the Association of Investment Companies - Category: Sector Specialists - Technology, Media & Telecoms.